Hope amidst Headlines

ABC News: “Over 70 dead with 22 tornadoes reported in South, Midwest”

It pains my heart to see headlines of devastation after devastation in this world. And while I’m tempted to doubt God’s goodness in light of believing He’s in control of everything, I reflect on His grace and goodness that outweighs all the tragedy in the world. It’s mind boggling, but our world would look like this *and only* this if His grace didn’t ever reach us. This world on its own would be desolate. If there were any life on Earth, it would be never-ending tragedy without God’s interaction with His kids. We are so broken and flawed on our own. Few may agree with me, but we earn a fully broken world and yet, God doesn’t treat us like this endlessly. He graces us with beauty in life in seasons, with chances and hope at the end of it. He is goodness, and He is in control *still*. On this side of the world especially, we have lots to be grateful for, sometimes big, sometimes small.

But of course we’ve been seeing greater tragedies it seems, with greater frequency. And whether we all want to admit it or not, it gets increasingly difficult to comprehend that there’s a “good” God that reigns over all. I personally think He’s reminding us our place, His sovereignty, and the little time that’s left.

When I write things like this, I instantly feel guilty. Thinking, who am I to have a say over the sufferings of others? I always start harassing myself in my head that I’m being too insensitive of their suffering. That they’d say, “Well you just don’t understand until you’ve lived it. Maybe then it’ll be a little harder to talk about hope.” Until I realize, I have suffered. I have a lifetime of suffering that might look somewhat different, but to many, I wish I could also explain, “You just don’t understand until you’ve lived it.” To go a step further, you can’t even have this argument with a highly-sensitive empath-type as myself. I literally start crying when faced with any other living thing crying.

I’m allowed to have an unpopular perspective and positive outlook on all that tries to tempt my heart to freeze over instead. The truth is, I’ve viewed the world in that way for too long, with a cold heart, now and I just hate it. Pessimism makes me sick. It makes me feel more sick than if I were to force myself to hold onto hope when I read the news, no matter how disturbing. Yes, more and more of it looks uglier and crueler by the day. But I believe it’s an active choice. To choose our perspective to say, “no matter what this world tries to throw at us or do to us, we choose to stay whole and unbreakable”. We choose hope and hold onto faith that there is a merciful God and one day He’ll make it so much more clear than what we’ve been seeing.

This fighter-mentality is so beautifully described in Will Smith’s story of his mother’s abusive marriage:

“She stood right back up, looked him in the eye, and calmly said, ‘Hit me all you want, but you can never hurt me.’ I have never forgotten that. The idea that he could hit her body but somehow she was in control of what “hurt” her? I wanted to be strong like that.”

Manson, Mark. Will (p. 13). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

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